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Japan’s 8 Most Quirky Themed Hotels

If you know Japan, you know that this country, and perhaps Tokyo in particular, is all about quirkiness, home to unique things to do like cat and owl cafes. For fans of one-of-a-kind places to stay, you’re spoiled for choice here with anything from robot hotel employees to Hello Kitty themed rooms. If you’d like to sample some of it, consider a stay in one of its quirkiest themed hotels.

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo Keio Plaza Hotel
Credit: Keio Plaza Hotel by Keio Plaza Hotel

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo

Hello Kitty is one of Japan’s most popular and beloved cartoon characters, and Tokyo’s landmark Keio Plaza Hotel celebrates Kitty in a big way, throughout its special themed rooms. The top hotel in Tokyo occupies two high-rise towers in the vibrant Shinjuku district, and features Kitty Town rooms created for kids and Princess Kitty rooms that are designed to please adult fans of the fictional cat. Definitely, over the top, there are bright pink bows of the room doors and Kitty paraphernalia everywhere, like the wallpaper, hairdryers, garbage cans, and even bathroom scales. Pink is splashed all over the place too, including pink tubs in the bathroom. Guests can even take home some of the room, like the Hello Kitty dolls that are on the beds, Hello Kitty water bottles, toiletry, and stationary. If you want to go, you’ll need to book about a year in advance, they’re that popular.

Park Hotel Tokyo, Tokyo Park Hotel Tokyo
Credit: Park Hotel Tokyo by parkhoteltokyo.com

Park Hotel Tokyo, Tokyo

Park Hotel in Tokyo hosts chic rooms, but a collection of them blends traditional Japanese aesthetics and Japanese hospitality as true works of art by local artists. Themes include zodiac, dragons, poetry, Zen, bamboo and the like. Each one is meant to encapsulate the artist’s passion and view of the world. The walls of the Sumo Artist Room are covered with sprawling paintings of sumo wrestlers, and there is even a fact sheet that provides information about the sport such as the wrestlers’ calorie-heavy diet and their mawashi belts. As the hotel occupies the top ten floors of a skyscraper, some of the rooms also offer magnificent views of Tokyo Bay and Mount Fuji in the distance.

Hen-na Hotel, Nagasaki Hen-na Hotel
Credit: Hen-na Hotel by Hen-na Hotel

Hen-na Hotel, Nagasaki

Hen-na Hotel is a unique hotel that could only happen in Japan. In fact, the name is a play on a Japanese word that means strange. Located near Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, it’s staffed by robots. The aim of Henn na Hotel “is not about being strange, it’s about transforming and evolving,” Hideo Sawada, founder, and chairman of H.I.S. said during the opening ceremony. If you don’t speak Japanese, no worries – the hotel has a dinosaur that speaks English and also mans the front desk. The porter robots will help you get your luggage to your room, and robots also do hotel cleaning tasks like vacuuming and cleaning the windows. Instead of keys, you’ll get in your room using facial recognition. The six-story building features spacious rooms and uses about 140 robots, although human employees are also on site at all times to provide assistance, particularly in emergencies.

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Tokyo Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Tokyo
Credit: Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Tokyo by Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Tokyo

The Shinjuku Toho Building, Tokyo’s largest entertainment complex, is home to the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku. To celebrate Godzilla returning to the big screen, they went a little Godzilla nuts, by placing a “life-size” nearly 40-foot-high Godzilla head on the 8th-floor terrace. There are also Godzilla-themed rooms, and a massive monster waiting right outside your room window – so beware if you’re prone to nightmares, otherwise, this one definitely makes for an interesting experience and a good place to base yourself if you’re looking for non-stop fun in the city.

First Cabin Akasaka, Tokyo First Cabin Akasaka
Credit: First Cabin Akasaka by First Cabin Akasaka

First Cabin Akasaka, Tokyo

While you won’t be thousands of feet in the sky, this ground First Class Cabin will let you step into a pilot’s shoes and pretend as if you’re flying a real plane. First Cabin Akasaka is actually rather similar to Japan’s famous, tiny capsule hotels, basically a clean, compact room perhaps a notch up from a dorm room. You do get the added bonus of free access to a sauna.

Akihabara Washington Hotel, Tokyo Akihabara Washington Hotel
Credit: Akihabara Washington Hotel by akihabara.washington-hotels.jp

Akihabara Washington Hotel, Tokyo

Akihabara Washington Hotel is located in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood, and while most of it is rather generic, it offers one specially-themed room just for train enthusiasts. The Railway Room features a full-scale model of Akihabara and includes models of the Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree, along with a running railway made up of 98 feet of tracks. Guests can even bring their own N scale train and spin around the track, or if they don’t have one, they can borrow one from hotel staff. The theme is complemented by a glass showcase that exhibits train models, photographs of old locomotives, and train-related books. If that’s not enough, they can watch real trains out the window as Shinkansen bullet trains that arrive and depart from Akihabara station can be seen from the room.

Book and Bed, Tokyo Book and Bed, Tokyo
Credit: Book and Bed, Tokyo by bookandbedtokyo.com

Book and Bed, Tokyo

While many people equate Japan with lots of high-tech gadgets, Book and Bed Tokyo is about as opposite as you can get. It’s not about tablets or smartphones, but it gives a retro nod to more traditional books. In this book lover’s hotel, guests sleep in the middle of a book-filled library, which includes thousands of English and Japanese books. While you’ll have lots to read in this capsule-style hotel, it doesn’t include a shower, but it is rather cheap for this city.

Hotel Public Jam, Osaka Hotel Public Jam
Credit: Hotel Public Jam by hotelpublicjam.jphotel.site/en/

Hotel Public Jam, Osaka

Hotel Public Jam is a popular love hotel in central Osaka, specializing in a number of themed rooms specially designed for couples who are interested in experimenting with new, couple types of things. It offers the chance to get intimate in a vintage VW Beetle or show your partner your cool new pole moves on a street lamp. The most popular room here is made to look like a cabin in a wooden ship. All rooms for totally soundproofed and come with 24-hour room service as well as free Wi-Fi. When you want to venture outside your “love room,” you can join in the karaoke sessions.

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